I have, at multiple times in my life been in a relationship on Valentine's Day. Interestingly, I have never done anything with that person, and rather, have always gone out to lunch or dinner at a Mexican restaurant with my parents (when I was little I also used to consistently receive pajamas as a gift). My dad always gets me flowers, my mom gets me a card or candy. Last year was my first year away at college and my high school boyfriend and I happened to be dating at the moment (just accept that that is, indeed, the way that sentence must be written to be accurate). He, however, was working (or something) and didn't want to come down to D.C. for the evening. So, my mommy and daddy swooped in and came down to have dinner with me. We went to a restaurant called Tia Queta, which happens to a be a restaurant the two of them used to go to when they were dating. My family is cute like that. I had a delicious meal and got a gift (the board game Betrayal at the House on the Hill) from friends at home. Altogether, one of the best Valentine's Days I've ever had. This year, despite being in the midst of the most stable, loving relationship I hav ever encountered, I had yet another chance to spend a Valentine's Day with my mom and dad at that same restaurant they used to go to. My current boyfriend had class until late in the evening on Valentine's Day and so, yet again, I found myself in a relationship and unoccupied on the day of lovers. I got to eat the same delicious black bean and parmesan dish I ordered last year and visit with my parents who I hadn't seen in a over a month. I know that it is a cheesy tradition and that it inevitably has to come to an end and I move deeper into the world of my own relationships (plus my parents would probably appreciate finally getting one to themselves), but I love it. It is one of the strongest traditions I have with my family. Other things I've been holding on to my whole life have been slipping away for the last few years, mostly holiday traditions, and perhaps it's just me being stubborn, but it makes me sad every time I lose one. I suppose I just need to start some new traditions, and chicken pesto parmesan and a poem certainly seems like a good one. It just always surprises me how bad I am at letting go of the past.